UTLO (ITA) – 31 km & 1720 D+

UTLO (ITA) – 31 km & 1720 D+

Sunset at Orta Lake, the protagonist of the weekend

Sunset at Lake Orta, the protagonist of the weekend

Ultra Trail Lago d’Orta 2022 – 31 km: race information & review

This past weekend I took part in the UTLO, Ultra Trail of Lake Orta. It is an event that has now become a fixture on the fall Italian Trail Running calendar, but also an international one, having seen exponential growth in participants from abroad.

The meeting point is the Gramsci lakefront in Omegna, which allows one to admire the beauty of Lake Orta, especially when the days are like last weekend’s, that is, without rain!

For me, UTLO is definitely one of the races of the heart. Here I ran my first race over 90 km, here I meet always many friends I met during these years of trail-running, here every edition I took part in had its own special flavor and here it is always a great thrill to run the last 2 km along Lake Orta.

UTLO 2022 - Last few hundred meters before the finish line
UTLO 2022 – Last few hundred meters before the finish line

My history at UTLO: 2014, the recklessness

In 2014 the event was not yet as popular as it is now. And I didn’t have the trail-running experience I have today: I had recently completed my race above 50 km.

I was coming from a peculiar year, I had recently separated from the woman I had been living with for the past 4 years, and I needed to challenge myself. So, without a minimum of preparation, with a week of high fever behind me, I showed up at the start of the ultra. On paper 87 km, in reality something around 92 km with 6000 meters of elevation gain.

Finishing that race was quite a pain, but it was also an immense joy because, during all those hours on the trails, I learned so much about myself, about managing my body but especially my head.

My history at UTLO: 2015, the awareness

In 2015 I was in particularly good shape. I had had a very strong winter season and had started the year with good feelings.

Then in late June, during a race in Valsusa, I completely ruptured the anterior talus ligament in my left ankle. For the doctors, my friends and especially my physiotherapist, the season was over and I would have to have surgery and start again in 2016. But my head was telling me not to stop and simply adjust to the new situation, without disrupting all my plans.

So I spent all of July training on bike and via ferrata, always with my ankle bandaged with functional bandages, participated in and finished TDS (UTMB-TDS 2015 Da un’alba all’altra | EmigranTrailer), and arrived at the end of September with lots of motivation and fit again. Of course, the ankle no longer allowed me to run as I wanted, but I had learned to manage myself.

I showed up at the start of the 58km race with a lot of excitement and ran the whole race in total control of my physical and mental strength, eventually finishing with a good chrono and an excellent final position (wedosport).

My history at UTLO: 2017, the friendship

2017 had been a year of other big changes with my move from Italy to Germany.

I had spent the entire first part of the year as a fish out of water, working all week in Germany and often traveling almost every weekend to the Alps.

Then at the LUT in late June I met Andre and Ilka, two German trail-runners, at the race, we found out that we lived within a half-hour drive, started doing some training together in Germany, and decided to participate in the UTLO in mid-October: Andre on the longer race (120 km) and Ilka and I on the 82 km.

For Ilka it was the first time on these distances and we decided to do the whole race together.

Meanwhile, my Turin friendships were still very strong and I simultaneously organized the UTLO weekend with Lollo, Filippo and Max.

It was really another very nice weekend, in which friendship had been the only important element (the competitive part I had deliberately put aside).

My history at UTLO: 2022, the serenity

I had been missing from UTLO for 5 years, and so much has happened in my life that I could probably write a book, so complex is everything that has happened.

The past is a time of teaching and growth. But it is the present that counts. And the present is made up of so much serenity and happiness.

With these two feelings I wanted to come back to Omegna, to experience again such an important event for me, to greet Vincenzo, Yulia (Yulia Baykova, a Russian in Italy | EmigranTrailer), Agnes (Agnes Katalin Papp, a Hungarian in Italy | EmigranTrailer) and all volunteers, but above all to share with Agnese a weekend of sports, lake and nature: the synthesis of the last months.

So, on Saturday I enjoyed following Agnese and many of the runners on the 55km, hopping from one refreshment station to another moving around by car and on foot. And most of all by doing a lot of cheering and motivating those whom I saw a little down.

The best thing about Saturday was then many finishers who came to thank me because I was almost omnipresent (one girl asked me if I had triplets) and that my presence had become a point of reference and serenity. In short, the common thought was, “If I see that guy with an impractical orange bandana, that means my race is going well!

The route: 31 km & 1720 D+

On Sunday I then ran my race, for the first time on the 31km.

The start was given at 8:30 a.m. from the center of Omegna.

First ramps on road, then a fast 1 km to attack the climb to Quarna on the old farm road.

After Quarna the climb to Monte Mazzoccone begins. A steady climb in the first part and then interspersed with short flat passages until the last very steep ramps (km 8).

Descent to Alpe Camasca (km 9), first refreshment point, and then the farm road towards Monte Croce, which began around km 11.

Arriving at the top of Monte Croce (km 12) you can say that all the day’s climbing was completed. Then began the descent, in the first part quite technical, and then easier from km14 onwards.

The next kilometers were all to run until Alpe Sacchi (approx. 17.5 km).

You then entered the woods, downhill, with all the colors of autumn represented by the leaves on the path.

From km 21 to km 28.5 km it was a descent that alternated passages on the ground and with stones.

The last 2.5 km were flat along the lakefront.

UTLO 2022 - One of the last downhill section
UTLO 2022 – One of the last downhill section

The event

Also this year the UTLO was a beautiful event with races from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning (Ultra Trail Lago d’Orta – UTLO (ultratraillo.com)).

There was a great participation of Italian and international athletes and I am sure that next year it will not be less, if the organization maintains the quality and professionalism with which everything is organized and managed.

In short, it was an overall successful event and I really enjoyed being there.

And I hope not to spend another 5 years to go back! 🙂

UTLO 2022 - One of the last smiling moment
UTLO 2022 – One of the last smiling moment

Ultra Trail Lago d’Orta 2022: detailed information

Official website: Ultra Trail Lago d’Orta – UTLO (ultratraillo.com)

Personal Gps move (by Suunto 9 Baro): https://maps.suunto.com/move/andreadefilippo70/634bf06de219897cee8259e6 (note that I never wear a Hearth Rate Monitor. The recorded bpm is on the wrist. Thus it’s not correct. Ditto for VO2 and calories)

Measured distance: 31,05 km

Measured Cumulative Gain +: 1762 m

Measured Cumulative Loss -: 1758 m

Measured max altitude: 1635 m

Start Date: 16/10/2022

Start Time: 08:30 a.m.

Start Point: Lungolago Gramsci, 28887 Omegna (VB)

Cost: 40 € (1,3 €/km)

Air Temperature (average): 19°C

Weather conditions: partially cloudy

Dominant Ground: trails, mule tracks and road (5%)

Ground Status: dry

Technical Difficulties: few short passages

Refreshment Points: two: the first at about km 9, the second at about km 18 (Note that, since the start, I personally had with me 500 ml electrolyte sports drink)

UTLO 2022 - Uphill towards Monte Mazzoccone
UTLO 2022 – Uphill towards Monte Mazzoccone

Ultra Trail Lago d’Orta 2022: my equipment and results

Shoes Type: Saucony Xodus Ultra (Size: UK 8.5 / EU 43 / USA 9.5; Color: Acid Blue Raz)

Shoes usage at the start: 230 km; ca. 16000 D+ / ca. 16300 D-

Anklet: used for the right ankle

Socks: Mico (Size: 43-46; Color: blue)

Calf Sleeves: not used

Shorts: Raidlight (Size: M; Color: Blue)

Race Belt: Suunto / Salomon (Color: Black)

Undershirt: not used

T-Shirt: No Limits Team Academy (Size: M; Color: Red/Grey)

Arm Sleeves: not used

Gloves: not used

Wristband: Compressor Sport

GPS Clock: Suunto 9 Baro (Color: Black)

Backpack: Ultimate Direction 10.8L (completely empty!)

Headwear: Raidlight Buff

Glasses: Oakley

Trail Running Poles: not used

Headlamp: not used

Wind/Rain Jacket: Crazy (Color: Orange) (not used but it was in the backpack)

First Aid Help: rescue blanket (not used, but it was in the backpack)

Official personal time: 3h42’56”

Official personal absolute position: 56

Official personal male position: 51

Official personal finisher certificate: Attestato di Partecipazione (wedosport.net)

UTLO 2022 - The finish line
UTLO 2022 – The finish line

Additional information

If you want more information or technical details related to this event, please do not hesitate to contact me or comment below.

Other information about races, results and equipments at the following links: Trail & Running | EmigranTrailer.

Enjoy Running & Trail Running!

Andrea De Filippo

Original post in english language. For other languages, please open with a web browser (i.e. Chrome) and apply the automatic translation

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